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Ah yes, probably the most difficult aspect of the entire wedding. Traditionally, this is the largest and most expensive party you will ever throw, but are things changing? With many now opting to save up more for a house, cutting out a few distant wedding guests (ie., the neighbours doctor), and having a smaller close-knit wedding; we see 2 unique types of wedding occurring nowadays, and we’re obsessed.
Let’s be honest, no matter how many siblings of ours get married, we still have no clue how to divide our wedding budget to ensure we’ve covered everything, accounted for wedding inflation, and taken into account your unique couple preferences ie., your partner cares more about the food & decor, and you care more about your cake & outfits.
Remember, a wedding budget should be unique to you and reflect your particular circumstances and position. Check out some of our starting steps below
1. Talk openly with your partner about your financial situation and about the contribution:
Maybe it’s just the two of you and your fiancé. Or perhaps your parents or other relatives might like to contribute. Whatever the situation, determining who is willing to contribute to your wedding is the most open, honest & efficient way for determining your entire budget.
Don’t shy away from the conversation, and don’t even think about it being awkward. Your two families are becoming one, and knowing the base line budget will reduce a lot of your stress.
Top tip: Think of who has always wanted to chip in, perhaps your grandparents are determined to purchase a wedding dress for you and they’ve said this to you since childhood. Take it into account and factor in accordingly.
2. Create an approximate guest list
How much you should strive to spend or save will depend on the size of your guest list. The amount of visitors will influence the venue size, the catering requirements, and the number of wedding favours etc.
Putting the expenditures of your wedding into perspective requires thinking about the “per head” costs. The number of goods you’ll need to purchase, such as invitations, table, and chair rentals, cake size & so much more, will depend on the number of guests attending. This will also inevitably be the first question any supplier will ask you, so it’s good to have your rough estimate.
Did you know? Around 15-20% of guests, on average, will RSVP as “No” from your guest list. Don’t be offended, it’s just the norm!
3. Contingency reserve
Not going to lie, this ones done a LOT in corporate work projects, but whose to say we can’t use this best practice for the wedding?
General wisdom suggests that 10-15% of your budget should be set aside in a contingency reserve, and your split allocations below should be net of the reserve amount. This is so that you have enough leeway for some of the unexpected costs (trust us, they’re inevitable).
On the flip side, you will also always have some places where you save & spend less than expected. Pop that cash into the contingency reserve too!
The BEST trick: In your mind, tell yourself that the contingency reserve that you save, will automatically be added to your honeymoon pot! The more you save, the more fancy dinner’s you can fork out on.
4. Category allocations& setting priorities
Start allocating a rough percentage to each of your categories, for example:
Venue – 12-18%
Catering – 12-18%
Outfits – 7-8%
and so on…
This list will totally vary dependant on your priorities. Think about what you and your partner care most about, individually & together. Perhaps you’re both willing to compromise on wedding favours, and want to spend more of that money on the DJ? By knowing each others non-negotiables, you’ll find it a lot easier to know where you can dip into the contingency reserve, and where it’s just not worth it for you personally.
5. Double check if you’ve forgotten to budget for any of the below!
Unfortunately, the most forgotten costs are:
1 – Registrar fees
2 – Engagement ring cleaning fees
3 – Any pet-sitting costs for the day
4 – Wedding party gifts (or either sides of the family etc.)
5 – Post-wedding costs (thank you cards, flower preservation etc.)
6 – Tailors / outfit alterations
7 – Transport to and from the venue
8 – HMUA trials
9 – Storage costs (boxes & bags for your outfits, jewellery, shoes etc.)
10 – Wedding invite postage costs
11 – Wedding insurance
12 – Dry cleaning
13 – Wedding guestbook
But don’t worry, Tip No.6 will make sure you don’t forget this!
6. Download the Eternity UK Wedding Planning App – the FIRST App dedicated to South Asian Weddings!